My “Sightings” column in this week’s Wall Street Journal is about large-scale virtual presentations of famous works of art. Here’s an excerpt.
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The bad news is “Immersive Van Gogh,” a 500,000-cubic-foot high-tech video installation that opens in Toronto on Dec. 21, in Chicago on Feb. 11 and in San Francisco on March 18. It makes use of 50 digital projectors to show animated versions of “Starry Night” and several of the painter’s other masterworks, accompanied by New Age-style music. The press release maunders on at length about how the visitor (masked and socially distanced, of course) will “wander through entrancing, moving images…truly illuminating the mind of the genius.” I haven’t seen the show in person, but the extensive video clips I’ve viewed online suggest that attending “Immersive Van Gogh” is not even remotely like the intensely involving experience of encountering a painting up close. Instead, the work of one of the greatest of all visual artists has been turned into something more like a giant video game….
* * *Read the whole thing here.